Saturday, January 31, 2009

2012: Nothing to worry about

Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today; it’s already tomorrow in Australia.” – from The Peanuts by Charles Schultz

This post isn’t about the movie, it’s about the very real fear that some people already have for the date of December 21, 2012. I wouldn't mention it if I hadn't heard people talking about it. Once again some people are predicting the "end of the world" on that date. And hey, that’s only a few days after my birthday so it’s kind of exciting.

I’m also sure that another group of people is deciding how they will make some money off of this ridiculous fear. It happens all the time. I myself have lived through at least four end of the world predictions starting when I was sixteen. Yet even then, I had the sense to know that end of the world predictions are nothing new. More importantly, they’ve never happened. This time it’s based on the Mayan calendar. Yes, a calendar used by the same people that failed to predict the demise of their own civilization.

Are there Earth devastating events to worry about? Sure. Are numerologists, psychics or religious leaders able to predict them? Absolutely not. They never have and they never will. So relax. Here is a good website listing many end of the world predictions for the last 2000 years.

However, there are real threats to the viability of our small planet. For instance, large asteroids can and have intercepted our planet. Changing the chemistry of our planet’s atmosphere is a bad idea. Nuclear wars are not an answer to anything and radioactive munitions are not toys. We even have stars in our galaxy that are close enough that, while maybe not turning our planet to ashes, could still deliver some nasty surprises to life on Earth. And regardless, there’s certainly no point in losing sleep over any of this.

One more thing, I’ll bet each person $100 that the Earth does not end in 2012. There will be no alien ship arriving to transform Earth. There will be no evolutionary unveiling of a noösphere. There will be no awakening or apocalypse of bodies and minds. The magnetic pole of Earth will not suddenly reverse. There will be no Planet X falling through our solar system. I will take bets on any of these and I will expect payment because I have a lot of school loans to pay off.

- Just a peasant